“As yoga goes digital, attractiveness is key. A google search of ‘yoga images’ yields hundreds of toned bods, sunsets and long hair. Likewise, Instagram invokes airbrushed perfection made to look effortless. No one is wearing torn-up sweats to sell lifestyle brands. ‘You’d better be photogenic if you’re going to be a teacher on the Internet,’ Popper warned.” ~ “The New Rules of Yoga: Everyone’s a Teacher, So You’d Better Be Pretty,” The Observer, May 19, 2017
Welcome to America’s Next Top Yoga Teacher, Where we discover and create America’s hottest yoga teacher one Insta heart at a time. Think “America’s Next Top Model” meets “the Bachelor” meets “GOT Season 1” meets “Naked and Afraid”
The contestants will compete in weekly photo shoot challenges which will involve executing a fancy yoga pose (or any yoga-ish looking pose on a beach, mountain or in a national park) and coupling it with the perfect meaninglessly meaningful and thus insta-inspirational caption.
Episode 1: Find Your Voice:
The Top Teachers* will work with a social media consultant and PR mogul to come up with the perfect words to pair with their airbrushed photos, such as: any famous quote ever, mis-attributed famous quotes, Taylor Swift song titles, made-up famous quotes, anything ever uttered by a writer or artist, or unintelligible sentences of inspiration created by combining any of the following words, with or without grammatical structure: bliss, surrender, detox, authentic, truth, conscious, radiance, vibrance, yummy, journey, chia pudding. Or, just quote Rumi. Because no words better share who you really are than words written by some other guy back in the 13th century.
Episodes 2-5: Exploration of authentic yoga, which is always done “with” something:
- Yoga with dogs, kittens, goats, horses, beer, in snow, on a five-lane highway, on a five-lane highway in snow, by dangerous cliffs, or in a beautiful park on a cement bench in a flowing yellow skirt
- yoga with someone else’s cute toddler
- yoga with a chandelier you are hanging from: (“Be a lamp” ~Rumi)
- yoga with a baby on one breast, nursing while also petting a dog and holding a plate of dinner
- yoga with a plunger about to fix the toilet
- a photogenic gluten free vegan juice concoction recipe, maybe slathered all over a contestant in tree pose (so what if she’s actually a Paleo meatatarian)
Episode 6: Down Dog Despacito This challenge will stretch the girls to share stories of growth, redemption and overcoming personal hardship–for example, one contestant may post about how in eagle pose she remembered the childhood loss of a beloved pet bird. Accompanying quote: “#Despacito #imlikeabird
Episode 7: “The Mirror of Yoga: Makeover week” Congrats! You’ve made it to makeover week with L’Oréal Paris. The contestants’ journey brings them to this place where each becomes who she really is: an alternative, better, edited version of herself online.
Episode 8: Certified Social Media: This week contestants become legit yoga teachers! You know what that means: Each girl will receive her own custom incorrect Sanskrit(ish) tattoo, as well as her own honorary “yoga(ish)” name/ IG handle; for example, “Klesha Carmichael, Devi Dara, Sara Samadhi, Shanti Cassidy and “Yoga Girl No. 587662.51/2.”
Episode 10: Handstand Elimination: Look, we can edit the photo to make it look like you are doing a handstand unassisted but this week shit gets real: anyone who cannot do a handstand gets kicked off (the show and Instagram). #handstandmeansyoureforreal
In the weekly “namastay-or-namagotstogo” ceremony the contestants will wear gauzy white dresses over pristine white bikini tops and tiny yoga shorts. The contestants least liked online will have the chance to “yoga post for your life” busting out a crazy pose or Rumi quote to win. Finally, one contestant will be sent home to internet obscurity to the tune of “please pack up your smartphone and go.” The successful contestants will “namastay” receiving a beautiful mala bead necklace, bachelor rose style, custom designed by ANTYTyogadesigns™ to signify their continuing social media journeys (and to be worn in all future posts in perpetuity per page 187, paragraph 3, fn.7 of the cast contract). #thewoundistheplacewherethelightenters
Episode 11 Finale: Insta India!. The contestants who make it far enough by getting liked online enough will travel to India for a special handstand photo shoot at various holy sites and temples and with real live Indian people (contestant should always take selfies next to Indian people and make the peace sign with fingers as gesture of respect); accommodations of course will be at a Five Star hotel. Any elephants used will be totally fake to avoid upsetting vegans and because gross!
Judges will be an assortment of famous people who do yoga at least on social media or are famous for being famous and also doing yoga on social media, along with a social media expert in getting likes on Instagram and an expert on having one’s photo taken while wearing little clothing and posing.
*No yoga teaching or even yoga experience required, though natural flexibility and ability to walk on your hands helps — and looking good in a bikini is a must. Contestants will have a grueling schedule of daily workouts with a personal trainer, followed by sessions with a handstand specialist, former Olympic gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi and a contortionist from Cirque de Soleil. Required reading includes the biggest FB and Instagram accounts.
Oh, and RYT status for all contestants will be taken care of online and by submitting a check for fifty bucks to the Real Yoga Alliance.